October 2010 Archives

Prof. Salkin: The Livable New York Resource Manual

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The Livable New York Resource Manual was released by the New York State Office for the Aging to help local officials, professionals and residents plan, zone and develop for livable communities, aging-in-place and sustainable neighborhoods – stressing future-based planning on evolving demographic trends. The manual addresses the Livable New York focus areas – housing, transportation, mobility, green buildings, energy alternatives and inclusive planning. The Livable New York Resource Manual is available on-line at http://www.aging.ny.gov/LivableNY/ResourceManual/TOC.cfm

Flu vaccine finder

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Just in time for flu season, Google is collaborating with the U.S.
Department for Health and Human Services (HHS), their flu.gov
collaborators and the American Lung Association to help you easily
find nearby locations to get the flu vaccine. When searching for flu-
related terms, information will appear at the top of your search
results, including tips from flu.gov and a flu vaccine finder box with
an expanding map that displays locations where you can receive


iPad Available October 28, 2010 at AT&T Stores

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All three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models are available October 28,2010 at more than 2200 AT&T Stores. AT&T will offer customers 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad, complete with Apple’s easy on-device activation and management. All iPad data plans are available without a term contract and include unlimited access to AT&T’s more than 23,000 domestic Wi-Fi Hot Spots.

Apple® iPad™ with Wi-Fi + 3G at AT&T-click here.

General Practice Section Fall Meeting

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November 4-6, 2010
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, NY

Register Now!

Join the General Practice Section at their Fall Meeting at the beautiful Mohonk Mountain House. Built on the deep-blue waters of Lake Mohonk in 1869, this grand 267-room Victorian castle is one of America's oldest family-owned resorts and is just 90 minutes north of New York City. Friday and Saturday MCLE programming will feature a variety of topics leaving the afternoons free to enjoy the various recreational activities offered at the Mohonk Mountain House.

Program topics include:

The Fault with No-Fault Divorce and Opening Pandora’s Box
NYS Aspects of Estate Planning
Criminal Law Basics for the General Practitioner
Recent Developments in Business Law and some Recent Real Estate Case Law
Fifty Years in the Courtroom, But Who’s Counting?
Understanding and Avoiding the Attorney Disciplinary Process

The New York State Bar Association’s Meetings Department has been certified by the NYS Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York. Under New York’s MCLE rule, this two-day program will provide you with up to a total of 6.0 credit hours. The breakdown is as follows: 1.0 Credits in Ethics and 5.0 credits in Areas of Professional Practice. This program is not transitional and therefore not suitable for newly admitted attorneys.

For more information and to register please visit: www.nysba.org/GPfall10

Law.com - New York Grants Right to Claim Attorney Fees to Prevailing Homeowners in Foreclosures

The Access to Justice in Lending Act, A1239/S2614, will put defendants in foreclosure proceedings on the same footing as lenders, who often include in mortgage documents the right to recoup reasonable attorney fees if they bring a successful action.

Supporters of the new requirement say that it will encourage attorneys to volunteer their services to homeowners facing foreclosure, many of them who cannot afford to hire their own lawyers. At the same time, they say the measure will give the homeowners leverage to negotiate concessions from lenders seeking to avoid the potential costs of litigation.


The new law, Real Property Law Section282, provides that all mortgage agreements giving prevailing lenders the right to attorney fees, must be read to grant that right to borrowers as well. Although it goes into effect 60 days after its signing, it applies to all mortgages in effect on or after Oct. 20 and all proceedings begun on or after that date.


Read entire article.


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TwitDoc.com - the EASY way to share your documents on Twitter

The ability to easily 'tweet' your documents and pictures is an essential part of sharing information with your Twitter network.

The central idea behind TwitDoc.com is to make it easy to share your documents on Twitter. Before TwitDoc.com, you would upload your document to the internet, shorten the URL to link to the document, and post a tweet with the shortened URL to Twitter. With TwitDoc.com, you can do all of these steps at the same time. TwitDoc.com offers a free web-based upload form, a downloadable desktop upload utility, as well as an API for Twitter clients and web developers. And although TwitDoc.com is primarily built around the idea of sharing documents (PDF, DOC, XLS, etc.), they also handle many image formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.) and expect to support other file types in the future.

ProPublica: Read: The Depositions That Sparked the Foreclosure Scandal

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In depositions both old and new, employees at servicers, foreclosure-mill law firms, and other players describe how they processed foreclosures. Read it in their words.

Read entire article with multiple links to deposition transcripts.


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DocumentCloud is both a repository of primary source documents and a tool for document-based investigative reporting. Think of the repository as a card catalog for primary source documents. They're building tools that accelerate the work of reporters who need to make sense of large sets of documents. (You can use it on small sets, too.)


Although intended for reporters and news organizations, this is one killer app for analyzing and sharing depositions!! Take a look at the depositions from the mortgage foreclosure cases making headlines.

ProPublica has posted document (transcript), notes, and text, with annotations of "October 2010 Deposition by Kelly Scott, formerly of the Law Offices of David J. Stern"

also see:

"July 2009 Deposition by Erica Johnson-Seck of OneWest Bank"

Law.COM: N.Y. Courts to Require Attorneys to Verify Foreclosure Papers

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Law.com - N.Y. Courts to Require Attorneys to Verify Foreclosure Papers

Amid mounting national concern over the accuracy of court documents in foreclosure cases, the New York state court system on Wednesday directed lawyers for lenders to file an affirmation that they have taken reasonable steps to verify the accuracy of papers they file to support residential foreclosures.

"We feel we have an obligation to make sure the attorneys do their due diligence and come to us with credible papers because the consequences [of wrongful foreclosures] are so great," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said in an interview, adding that the new filing requirement is the first in the nation.

See a sample (pdf) of the affirmation attorneys will be required to provide.

Attorneys must now certify, "under the penalties of perjury," that they have communicated with a representative of the plaintiff bank or lender and that they have personally reviewed all documents and records related to the case.

After making this review and "other diligent inquiry," they must attest that "to the best of my knowledge information and belief, the Summons and Complaint and all other documents filed in support of this action for foreclosure are complete and accurate in all relevant


Read entire article.

TechCrunch: Apture Highlights to Search Scribd

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Scribd Partners With Apture To Include Rich Media Contextual Browsing Within Content

Today, Apture has scored a pretty significant deal with document-sharing site Scribd to allow users to use Apture Highlights on the tens of millions of public documents on the content platform.

As we wrote in August, ‘Apture Highlights’ plugs the “search leak” that is taking place with content on the web. The feature allows you to highlight any word or phrase on a page and instantly bring up search results in a window. The startup brings results from 60-plus sources including YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google and more for extra context around content.

Now, when users are reading documents, books, or other works on Scribd, they will be able to highlight any word, and Apture will open a small browser within the page to search for the additional information on Google, Bing or Yahoo.


Read entire article on TechCrunch

New York Temporary Maintenance Worksheets & Calculator

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Effective October 12, 2010, New York divorce attorneys now need to prepare a five-page worksheet (eight pages with instructions) which determines which spouse pays maintenance and the temporary maintenance amount the attorney is asking the court to award.

The required worksheets are available from the NY Courts website:

A calculator is also available at:

NYLJ: Temporary 'Cache' Files Are Evidence of Possession of Child Pornography

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Appellate Division, Second Department
Criminal Practice

In Case of First Impression, Panel Finds Internet Browser's Temporary 'Cache' Files Are Evidence of Possession of Child Pornography

People v. James D. Kent, 76/08 {full text of decision}


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For people with a wide range of social media responsibilities, HootSuite is a great way to stay connected. HootSuite allows individuals and business teams to coordinate social media connections with their easy-to-use interface that includes scheduled updates, one-click message dissemination, and smart-phone capabilities. The basic (and free) option allows for use of two RSS feeds, five social networks, and 30 days of statistical history. This version is compatible with all operating systems, including Linux

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

iPad Coming to Verizon-October 28th-with Mi-Fi

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Verizon Wireless and Apple today announced that iPad will be available at over 2,000 Verizon Wireless Stores nationwide beginning Thursday, October 28. Verizon Wireless will offer three bundles — all featuring an iPad Wi-Fi model and a Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot — for a suggested retail price of $629.99 for a 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and MiFi, $729.99 for a 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi and MiFi, and $829.99 for a 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi and MiFi. Verizon Wireless is offering a monthly access plan to iPad customers of up to 1GB of data for just $20 a month. Verizon Wireless will also offer all three iPad Wi-Fi models on a stand-alone basis.


Bank of America v. Satnarine Maharaj, 5804-2010

This application is replete with inconsistent and inaccurate proofs concerning the type of loan at issue and whether or not RPAPL $1304 was, in fact complied with. This application is an example of the scores of prior applications for orders of reference from plaintiffs counsel in this action, as well as from plaintiff-banks' attorneys in general, in which a lack of attention to detail leave this Court and, no doubt, courts throughout the State, the unenviable and overwhelming task of closely scrutinizing hundreds and thousands of foreclosure motions to effectuate the legislative protections afforded to homeowners in the throes of foreclosure. While the sheer volume of foreclosure filings themselves are enough to overwhelm the courts, the poorly and inaccurately drafted applications for orders of reference have an exponentially burdensome effect upon on the courts.

Since the only proper evidentiary proof in this case indicates that the defendant was entitled to a 90-day notice pursuant to RPAPL 5 1304 prior to commencement of this action, and since the plaintiff has failed to submit proper evidentiary proof of compliance with such pre-commencement requirements, the application for an order of reference is denied and the action is dismissed.

Read full text of Decision from Suffolk Co. Supreme Ct. here.

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A. v. Jonathan Austern, 2009-24711

Even the most cursory examination of the documents before the Court demonstrate that some, if not virtually all of the statements in Plaintiff's complaint are grossly inaccurate and untrue. The Court cannot speculate upon the veracity, or lack thereof, of Plaintiff's submissions and cannot determine, at this juncture, whether Plaintiff's counsel has been cavalier with the truth or merely grievously careless.


Full Text of Supreme Court, Suffolk Co. Decision.

Don't Ask Don't Tell Injunction

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SSRN-Social Networking and Land Use Planning Regulation: Practical Benefits, Pitfalls and Ethical Considerations by Patricia E. Salkin

Patricia Salkin
Albany Law School

Patricia E. Salkin is the Raymond and Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law, Associate Dean and Director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School.

Pace Law Review, Forthcoming

This article explores how social networking sites have been used or might be used in the land use context. Part I focuses on the use of social networking for land use planning and zoning. It includes a discussion of the pros and cons of the use of social networking sites to present public information and to gather public input and invite general participation in the process, as well as to provide notice to the public of forthcoming government decision-making. This section offers concrete examples of how this technology is currently being used in the land use context. Part II focuses on the professional ethical considerations of the various players in the land use game as it specifically relates to the use of social networking sites. For lawyers, the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct are examined and for Planners, the Code of Ethics of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is explored for guidance. The article concludes with a warning that that although there are benefits to the use of social networking tools for land use planning and zoning initiatives, attorneys, government agencies, planners and others should use caution when employing these tools, being certain to weigh ethics and professionalism implications, social justice goals and public participation mandates and aspirations against the advantages of these tools, and the uncertainty of how courts might apply myriad legal mandates in cyberspace.

Download the entire article in pdf here.

AP: Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary

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Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary - Yahoo! News

NEW YORK – In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.
In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word "affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud.
"The mortgage servicers hired people who would never question authority," said Peter Ticktin, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., lawyer who is defending 3,000 homeowners in foreclosure cases. As part of his work, Ticktin gathered 150 depositions from bank employees who say they signed foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or ever laying eyes on them — earning them the name "robo-signers."
The deposed employees worked for the mortgage service divisions of banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, as well as for mortgage servicers like Litton Loan Servicing, a division of Goldman Sachs.


Read entire article here.

NYSBA: General Practice Section Fall Meeting

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General Practice Section Fall Meeting
Thursday, November 4, 2010 through Saturday, November 6, 2010
- Location -
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, NY

View/Download Program

View/Download Registration Form

View/Download Hotel Form

For more information, contact: bwachowicz@nysba.org

From Program Chair, Lynne S. Hilowitz, Esq.:

“Please tell everyone how good the program will be, how great a venue and how long it has been since our section had a successful program like this one is sure to be with their help in attending.

You might mention that the Mohonk is usually much more expensive but we secured a special rate and that the price includes 3 meals a day- Full American Plan. “




LAW.COM: When Foreclosure Cases Get Tough, Big Firm Lawyers Step In

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Law.com - When Foreclosure Cases Get Tough, Big Firm Lawyers Step In

But a review of state and federal cases filed in the last few weeks shows lenders are turning away from the "foreclosure mills" and to large law firms when homeowners fight foreclosure and challenge banks to prove their documents are legit.

Read entire article.

NYTIMES: Apple Plans to Offer iPhone on Verizon

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Apple to Offer iPhone on Verizon, Ending Exclusivity with AT and T - NYTimes.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Facing intense competition from phone makers wedded to Google’s Android software, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, finally plans to make the iPhone available on Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

After more than three years of using only AT&T cellphone networks, Apple is now making a version of the iPhone 4 for Verizon’s network, according to a person who is in direct contact with Apple. Apple and Verizon will begin selling the phone early next year, said the person, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because the plans were supposed to be confidential and he did not want to alienate his contacts at Apple.

Apple and Verizon Wireless declined to comment.


Read the entire article here.

Verizon customers can only hope that Apple will stand firm against any attempts by Verizon to alter the iPhone OS.


Those of us who bought Motorola Razrs from Verizon well remember the abomination calling itself "V-Cast" and other depredations committed upon the then most technically advanced phone of its time. Verizon, in a quest to wring every 25 cents out of the phone, disabled the excellent Motorola firmware and substituted its own OS, seemingly designed to deliberately hobble the Razr.

Camera? Verizon wouldn't let you use your camera to send photos to your computer without paying them 25 cents per photo.

BTW I'll take my share of the $90 million Verizon settlement for spurious charges that same proprietary Verizon OS billed, which it was not entitled to, as a credit on my iPhone purchase.

Hands off the iPhone OS, Verizon!!


UPDATE: The WSJ reports that CDMA-based Verizon iPhone will not be able to multitask at outset. May change later.

Most notably, Verizon customers aren't able to surf the Web or exchange email while they're talking on their phone. Read entire WSJ article.

Handling a Prisoner Case

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NDNY FCBA CLE announcement for their upcoming program: "Handling a Prisoner Case" at the following address:


If you would like to register, please e-mail Trista O'Hara at tohara@ndnyfcba.org. The CLE program will be free to all FCBA members.

Please don't hesitate to e-mail or call Ms. O'Hara, at (315) 422-2711, with questions.

A two part series held in both Syracuse & Albany

Virtual law firms break from traditional model - Charlotte Business Journal

Moore, a corporate lawyer, started his career with a huge New York firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, and then jumped to increasingly smaller firms based in Atlanta and Charlotte. But he never found the right fit. He also wasn’t interested in starting a solo practice.

Read entire article.

NYLJ: Judge Lewis A. Kaplan Order Excluding Government Witness

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United States v. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, S10 98 Crim. 1023 (LAK)

United States, Plaintiff v. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, Defendant, S10 98 Crim. 1023 (LAK)

Criminal Practice
New York Law Journal10-07-2010


The Court has not reached this conclusion lightly. It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world in which we live. But the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction. To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand.


Read Full Text here.

Get a Skype button

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Get a Skype button

Skype buttons can be used on your website, blog or even in your email signature to let other people contact you easily.

You can choose from the simple options below, or customise the colours, functions and styles using the Skype buttons wizard.

Google Documents-Revision History Interface

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Official Google Enterprise Blog

In Google documents, they launched a new revision history interface which lets you easily see what changes have been made to a document. Changes are color-coded based on each collaborator, so it’s clear who did what. You can click on a time stamp in the right column to see what changes were made at a given time, or use the arrow keys to quickly scan through many revisions. To learn more about revisions history, see the Google Docs blog.

Dissent breaks out over ABA charges for ethics opinions

Leigh Jones
September 29, 2010

The American Bar Association is under fire from attorneys who argue that the organization should stop charging fees for access to its ethics opinions.

An outcry erupted this week among practitioners who said that the ABA has a responsibility to the profession and the public to make all ethics opinions available for free online.

"Let the ABA sell something else," said Carolyn Elefant, a solo practitioner in Washington.

Read the entire NLJ article here.

Save the Date: Nov. 4th-6th-GP Section Fall Meeting at Mohonk Mountain House

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Please "Save the Date" for the General Practice's Fall Meeting at the beautiful Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz November 4th through 6th. We have some very exciting speakers and a great program. The Brochure is almost ready and will be posted asap.

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